How to Plan Your Perfect Instagram Feed

    April 18 2022

    If you’re a creator or influencer, you’ve likely spent a good deal of time trying to plan and organize your Instagram feed. Knowing what to post, when to post, and finding ways to do both of those things as efficiently as possible is essential to reaching your creator goals. 

    At Sidewalker Daily, we’re all about helping creators with their businesses. Whether it’s pitching to brands, growing on social media, or developing a content strategy—we know that being a creator or influencer is so much more than posting photos. Social media is not only where you post your content, but the center of your business or brand. Maintaining your Instagram and other social media accounts takes a lot of organization and planning to keep things running smoothly. 

     

    That’s why it is so important for us here at Sidewalker Daily to help creators and influencers understand why and how to put a content planning system in place, and give you the tools you need to succeed. In this post, we’re going to talk about the main reasons why you need to be planning your Instagram feed and let you in on some of the tips we teach our community of over 60,000+ creators on how to plan content to help you reach your goals. 

    Why Plan Your Feed?

    Being a creator or an influencer is so much more than just posting nice photos on social media! In fact, you’re a business owner and an entrepreneur, which means your social media strategy is essential to growing your follower base and building relationships with brands.

    That’s why having or using a planning process or system is so important for staying organized to ensure you’re meeting your content goals and deliverables for brand partnerships.  Without a planning tool, it becomes far too easy for things to slip through the cracks, such as posting on the wrong day or posting content that’s missing value and doesn’t align with your audience’s interests. Here are our top 4 reasons you should be using a social media content planner! 

    Reason 1: Save & Maximize Your Time

    Creators and influencers wear many hats and there are so many important tasks to get done during the day. Posting on social media is just one of the things that you need to do, which is why it’s so important to find ways to make your social content planning process as efficient as possible. 

    We know how stressful it can be when it feels like there is nothing to post. Not only do you spend a lot of time concepting content that’s both on-brand and interesting to your audience, but you’re also trying to create content that the Instagram algorithm will prioritize to lead to more discoverability and engagement. 

    Using a content planning system or tool, you’re able to plan your content ahead of time and implement a few content planning best practices. For example, creating content buckets or themes and then batching your content so you can schedule it in advance will help you know what to post day-of, and you’ll know that it is an intentional and relevant post. 

    Reason 2: Planning Content Helps You Think Strategically

    Planning your Instagram feed ahead of time helps you stay organized, but it also helps you think strategically about your content. As a creator, you want to show up for your industry or niche in the right way. Last minute or random posts make it way more likely that you’ll step outside of your niche and post something that might not resonate well with your audience. Your audience is your number one client, so you want to make sure you are not letting them down by not having a well thought out content plan that aligns with your goals and your audience’s interests.  

    When you plan ahead, you’ll have an easier time:

    • Keeping track of your content. Planning ahead allows you to think out what type of content to post to diversify feed and avoid being repetitive.
    • Creating content that fits within your niche and in turn leads to higher engagement. 
    • Saving time planning and scheduling so you can focus on building your brand relationships. 
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    Reason 3: Planning Your Feed Helps You Stay Consistent

    One of the biggest things that creators struggle with is consistency. Whether it’s due to posting fatigue or having to keep up with new trends and features, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

    Why is consistency so important? Being consistent with your content gives your followers something to look forward to. For example, at Sidewalker Daily we show up on YouTube twice a week—rain or shine—because we want our community to know that we are always there to offer insights and tips to help them grow their brand or business.

    Consistency also leads to higher engagement and reminds the algorithm that you’re an active channel pushing out valuable content. If you’re an Instagram influencer or creator, you probably know this: posting consistently is favored by the algorithm and can boost your visibility and lead to new followers, business growth, and social media engagement.

    Exclusive for you:  Want to try out Sidewalker? Check out the Preferred Partner program for an exclusive discount. If you're already a paid user, head to your app to get the discount or upgrade today to access 15+ discounts from our other preferred partners!

    Reason 4: Manage Upcoming Brand Collaborations

    If you’re working with brands as a creator or influencer, you know that you need to put your best foot forward in these collaborations, just as you would in any other business situation. You want to create great content for your brand partners and you also want to ensure that your deliverables are ready to meet their deadlines. 

    Planning your content in advance helps you think strategically about your brand partnerships and how to present them to your audience. For example, it’s probably not the best idea to post a sponsored post from two competitor brands on back to back days. Avoid these oversights entirely by looking at your monthly content plan as a whole before you confirm your posting dates with brand partners. 

    Pro-Tip: Try dedicating 5 spots each month to branded content and fill in the rest of your content calendar with regular value-based posts. If you plan this out ahead of time, you won’t accidentally have tons of sponsored posts scheduled back to back. 

    How To Plan Your Perfect Instagram Feed

    Now that we have established why it is so important to plan your Instagram content, let’s look at the best ways to go about planning your posts. 

    We use PLANOLY to plan out our Instagram feed because we love the integrated features and tools that are designed to help us manage our social media accounts and grow our business. Here are 4 tips for planning your feed—plus our content team’s favorite PLANOLY features that we can’t live without and think creators and influencers should take advantage of too.

    # 1 Lead With Value

    Instead of shooting content and then trying to come up with a caption for it afterwards, try doing it the other way around. Ask yourself what your audience really wants to learn about and then create your content around those topics or concepts. 

    The placeholder feature  on PLANOLY is perfect for this! If you have a few topics that you want to cover on your feed, but you don’t have the finished content, you can use the placeholder feature to create a customizable square to put in place of it and then switch it out when it’s ready. This helps you visually plan and organize your Instagram feed.  The placeholder feature even allows you to customize the color of the square and add text to serve as a reminder for what to post in that spot.

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    #2 Keep Track of Comments and Post Performance 

    Many influencers and creators get caught up because they don’t feel confident that they know what their audience wants to see. This fear can paralyze you from posting at all! 

    But there are ways to gauge interest, and it’s really not as hard as it might seem at first. For example, at Sidewalker Daily we work with creators who directly ask their followers what they want to see. A quick Instagram Stories poll might be all you need to learn more about your audience’s preferences. It’s social media after all—just talk to them and gauge how they feel about certain content. 

    We also recommend keeping track of your comments to ensure a quicker response time. Responding to comments helps promote engagement on your posts. PLANOLY’s comments manager feature makes responding to your Instagram comments easier and quicker than ever before. Access it through the PLANOLY web dashboard where you manage and respond to comments without having to leave PLANOLY.  

    Pro tip: Dedicate a specific time for responding to comments in your daily routine. Not only does setting aside some dedicated time to get back to everyone save you a lot of time, it makes you less likely to miss a notification, a question from a follower, or an opportunity from a brand. Use the comments manager feature once or twice a day, to help you knock out responses. 

    Aside from crowdsourcing your followers, dive deep into your Instagram analytics to understand your performance metrics. Sifting through metrics lets you actually see what is and what isn’t resonating. We use PLANOLY’s built in analytics feature called analyze.    

    Always make sure that you’re looking beyond likes and comments. These can be great metrics, but dig a little deeper and see which posts get the most shares and saves. These two are huge indicators that your followers love your posts because they thought it was good enough to pass on to someone else. 

    With frequent visits to your analytics, you can feel confident during your content planning process that you’re filling your schedule with content that your audience will enjoy. 

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    #3 Batch Your Content

    Want to maximize your time? Content batching is your answer. To create content in batches you’ll want to dedicate a block of time each week or month to create a lot of content you can schedule in advance. For us at Sidewalker Daily, we like to create enough Reels, videos, and social posts to carry us through a week or two at a time. That way we only have to really go in and schedule everything one or twice per month. Creating your content in advance also allows for more flexibility in case you have switched up your content to incorporate viral social media trends or breaking news.

    Scheduling posts in advance  allows our clients enough time to go through the approval process and make any changes to the content plan before the posts go live. 

    PLANOLY’s visual planning grid and integrated social + notes calendar is a sleek and simple way to visualize and keep track of of your own content and any important holidays that are coming up. 

    We love that you can schedule posts ahead of time so that they’ll auto-post or give you a notification reminder to post on the scheduled day. With this tool you can batch as much content as you’d like, then rely on the scheduling calendar to remember when to post it—even if it’s days or weeks later! You can now schedule and auto-post carousels to Instagram via the PLANOLY web dashboard.  

    #5 Create Video Content

    We all know how important video content is for engagement and performance on Instagram right now. As you plan out your Instagram feed, it’s a good idea to add some video into the mix. It’s different for everyone, but some creators like to post Instagram Reels several times a week or even per day. Having a system in place to organize and schedule them makes a world of difference.

    PLANOLY’s Reel Planner gives you the ability to upload your videos to your planner and create a caption in advance. You’re probably shooting a lot of content—this makes it so your videos don’t get lost on the phone or forgotten about because it was shot last week. Being able to upload Reels and plan for them can help you stay consistent with your Reels content which inevitably will help your growth and reach on Instagram, which is such a huge goal for creators and influencers. 

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    Planning Your Instagram Feed

    Not every creator or influencer is the same, and we know that everyone is at a different stage in their business and creator journey. Nonetheless, it’s so important to have some sort of system in place that keeps you organized with your content planning and helps prevent you from getting too overwhelmed with the many things you need to do. 

    Take these tips and strategies for planning your Instagram feed and figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle. 

    Don't forget to check Sidewalker Daily out in our Preferred Partner Program to access an exclusive discount for their resources and more! 



    Learn more about Nina Zadeh, on PLANOLY

    Nina Zadeh

    Nina Zadeh is an Influencer Marketing expert and the Co-Founder of Sidewalker Daily, a community of over 60,000 Influencers and Creators. Sidewalker Daily specializes in helping Influencers and Creators pitch to brands, develop their business strategy and monetize their influence.

    More by Nina Zadeh

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